If it smells bad…
Sometimes, we come across what seems like an opportunity. It seems like a win-win situation, and yet, you get an uneasy feeling.
I once received an email from what I thought was a new client. They found me on LinkedIn, and made it sound like they could really use my services. They asked for a phone call, and I agreed. When they called, they tried to turn the table and sell something to me.
That’s not what LinkedIn is for. Clearly, this is all on the people who called me and not on LinkedIn, of course. LinkedIn is a great tool for business prospecting, networking, and even to find vendors. But any good thing can be abused.
In this case, the deception was obvious. Other times, it’s a lot subtler. Everyone knows about the IRS phone scam, or the Microsoft virus phone scam. These people are preying on the ignorant. But it doesn’t even have to involve a scam.
Sometimes, it’s just a gut feeling that it would be a bad idea to do business with a person. You get an indescribable gut feeling that something isn’t right. How many times have you ignored that kind of gut feeling and were glad you ignored it? What almost always happens is that bad feeling pans out to be a bad situation.
It’s unfortunate there are unscrupulous people in the world. They are one of the risk of doing business. They’ve always been around, and they’ll always be around. It’s up to us to listen to that gut feeling and walk away from what could be a regrettable situation. In other words, if it smells bad, it probably is bad.